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tic interest in the development of rive when the subject has been its young nationality. But our divested of all its adventitious own affairs are nearer home, and envelopes of partisan feeling, call forth a still warmer interest. national sentiment, traditional It is not our part to comment animosity, sympathy, expediency, upon the exciting character of the and all other qualities which tend present crisis in Ireland, which to obstruct the view. may have taken even
We can only indicate in brief markable developments before these outlines the nature of the argupages reach the public eye; but ment that Mr Dicey employs. the work now before us has a Starting from the definition of more permanent claim upon our at- Home Rule as a demand for an tention. Mr Dicey has made a not- Irish Parliament with “ habitual able experiment in the treatment freedom” from the control of the of a political question by a purely Imperial or British
British Parliament, scientific method. Among all the and an Irish Executive habitually subjects of our day none has been responsible to the Irish people and more inextricably entangled among its representatives, and showing the passions, prejudices, and senti- that Home Rule does not mean ments of races and factions than either local self-government or that of Home Rule, and if such national independence, he proa problem can be entirely isolated ceeds to show that the strength of from the influence of party feel- the movement in England depends ings, and solved by the rules of “on a peculiar though not of necescommon-sense, experience and for- sity transitory state of opinion." mal logic, there is no reason why The arguments of Home Rulers the most knotty point of policy - derive at least half their power that ever divided the House of from their correspondence with Commons or agitated the constitu- dominant sentiments.” encies should not in the same manner, be cut by such a Q. E. D.
"That this is so is admitted by the as must close the mouth of even the
now celebrated appeal from the classes
to the masses. It is in its nature an most obstinate stump-orator. If Mr appeal from a verdict likely to be Dicey's example be followed by the pronounced by the understanding or imitation which its success ought the prejudice of educated men to the to secure, we might hope to see emotions of the uneducated crowd. politics reduced to a science—made The appeal may or may not be justia branch
of the ordinary education fiable. This is not the point for disof our English youth; and such cussion; but the making of such
an topics as the Franchise, Free existence of certain widespread feel.
appeal necessarily implies that the Trade, or the Eastern Question ings, is a condition requisite for full simplified into primers for our appreciation of the reasoning in supelementary schools. But, apart port of Home Rule.
The reasons from such utopian expectations, may be good, but it is faith which Mr Dicey's work on
- Home gives them convincing power. They Rule” is of the highest utility in derive their cogency from a favouring
atmosphere of opinion or feeling." pointing out the conclusion at which every right mind must ar- This favouring atmosphere is
1 England's Case against Home Rule. John Murray.
By A. V. Dicey, M. A. London :
pervaded not so much by demo- self, Mr Dicey thinks that while cratic convictions as by demo- it does not involve more dangers cratic sentiment which is imper- than Home Rule, it presents more vious to right reasoning and the compensating advantages. He is logic of facts.
not, however, able 10 take into Mr Dicey goes over seriatim the account the fact that in the hands principal English arguments in of an Irish Executive, independent favour of Home Rule,-the argu- of the Imperial Parliament, Home ment from foreign experience, Rule in theory, would be Separaupon which Mr Gladstone laid tion in practice, and that England so much stress, but which, when would necessarily suffer not only fairly looked at, presents itself from the disadvantages of the one, rather in the light of a warning ; but from the dangers of the other. the argument from the will of the Perhaps the most interesting disIrish people—Mr Dicey, we sup- cussion in Mr Dicey's volume is pose for the sake of consistency that which treats of Home Rule in his method of treatment, rates as Federalism, and which possesses it at an importance much higher a value over and above its applicthan it deserves—which is met by ability, to the demands of Ireland. a statement that a majority of the If the efforts
which are being electors of Great Britain, with a made to stir up a Home Rule feellarge proportion of the inhabitants ing in Scotland and Wales are not of Ireland, are for the maintenance mere diversions in favour of the of the Union ; the argumunt from Separatist party in Parliament, Irish history, which has been and if they do derive any force so fully considered in this Maga- from a prevailing “ favouring atzine that we need not dwell upon mosphere” of “democratic sentiit ; the argument from the assumed ment," it is highly important that virtues of self-government, which the several units of Great Britain is vitiated by a reference to the should endeavour to understand social condition of Ireland, and a what their condition would be proof that
in countries under a Federation. The disaddeeply imbued with the spirit of vantages of a Federal scheme of legality self - government has no Home Rule thus summed necessary tendency to produce just up :-government or just legislation; the argument from the necessity for “ First, the sovereignty of the ImCoercion Acts, which hardly de- perial Parliament would be distroyed, serves consideration as a plea ; and and all English constitutional arrangelastly, the argument from incon- the power of Great Britain would be
ments would be dislocated ; secondly, venience to England, which Eng. diminished; thirdly, the chance of land by the exercise of a little further disagreement with Ireland firmness has it well within her would certainly not be diminished, power to remedy. Giving all and would probably be increased." due weight to these arguments, Mr Dicey demonstrates that they In short, a Federal scheme of do not support a demand for Home Home Rule involves a revolution, Rule, however far they may go as without any compensating advanagainst the maintenance of the tages to Great Britain, and with Union or in favour of complete no prospect of substantial benefit separation. As for Separation it- towards Ireland.
It does not seem probable—al- her character and credit—no foolthough when we are speaking of ish rebel, but long and well exMr Gladstone it is the improbable perienced in the uses of liberty that we have most reason to expect and power—will never be seduced --that the Government of Ireland into joining a cry so undignified Bill will be ever again brought be- and so delusive. Our Home Rule fore the country in the same form is too genuine and certain to be in which it met with so emphatic put in question. When we have a rejection. Should this be the asked, we have asked with all the case, Mr Dicey's exposure of its weight of sobriety and sense ; and provisions will 'reveal many objec- who is so bold as to assert that tions which escaped even the close we have ever failed in obtaining criticism to which it was previously anything that we have thought it exposed. We do not exaggerate worth while persistently to seek? the value of the volume which we Whatever may threaten the Union, now lay down, when we say that by God's grace it shall never be no one can advaance a valid claim the most loyal, the most thoughtto either write or speak upon the ful of the three sister families who subject of Home Rule for Ireland are bound by it – her Majesty's who has not read and digested Mr ancient kingdom of Scotland, still Dicey's work.
the stronghold, as we hope, notMeanwhile, how can we conclude withstanding political aberrations, without a hope that Scotland, with of good sense and good faith.
THE CAUSES OF THE UNION WITH IRELAND.
The task which I have undertaken regard as a precious possession in the present article is to describe the good fame of the statesmen of the events which led up to the previous generations, to whatever legislative union, on the first day of political party they may have bethis century, between Great Britain longed. and Ireland. These events form a But the Unionist case may be part of the Unionist case, upon placed much higher than this. which Unionists have been too There is nothing in the conduct apt to let judgment go by default, of Pitt and Cornwallis to be while their opponents have been ashamed of. What blackguardpressing the historical argument ism and baseness is to be found, with all possible force.
lies not in the conduct of those
who forced on the Union, but of “I am amazed at the deadness of vulgar opinion to the blackguardism those who extorted the highest and baseness-no words are strong possible price for falling in with enough-which befoul the whole his. it. The reasons that led to the tory of the Union."
Union were honourable and suffiSo Mr Gladstone has written, in end to a state of things that was
cient. The Act of Union put an a phrase which he has since told meant for publi
a disgrace and a peril to the em
pire. Its enactments must be cation.
read, as Professor Dicey in his “Unspeakably criminal, I own, were recent admirable work declares, the means by which the Union was - in the lurid light cast upon brought about, and utterly insufficient them by the rebellion of 1798." were the reasons for its adoption." I
They must be read also in view This is the more decorus though of the death-struggle with France scarcely less emphatic language of that was absorbing all the strength his latest manifesto.
of the country. As many frivolous Now, Unionists have been un- and wicked motives have been duly apt to take these views of ascribed to Mr Pitt as, in later history for granted. They have times, to Mr Gladstone himself. been for the most part content to But the memoirs and private correply (what is perfectly true), that respondence of the time are now the historical argument has very open to the world, and from these little to do with the matter. The the truth shines out. case of the Union must be judged, Pitt and Cornwallis were guided not according to the motives or by two motives—the necessity of actions of the men who supported securing the country against French it nearly a century ago, but by invasion, and the desire to protect the standard of the welfare of the Irish Roman Catholics against the British Empire to-day. This argu- fury of Irish Protestants. These ment is cogent, but the position were the motives which they laid is not satisfactory to those who before the country ; these, as we are proud of the honour and the see from their most private utterhistory of their country, and who ances were the motives that actu
i History of an Idea, p. 6.
ated themselves. The course which Nowadays, such restrictions are they took appeared to the country seen to do harm to the subject to be right and necessary; and country quite incommensurate with looking back from this distance of the advantage to the superior countime, it is hard to see that the try; but a hundred and fifty years country was wrong. Such is the ago it was a new idea to the Deview that I wish to present in this pendencies themselves article.
other relationship was possible, and In the first place, a short sketch nothing was hopeless—as of the salient features of the events Burke experienced at Bristol which led up to the Union contro- than to persuade a commercial versy will make the situation intel- audience that the freedom of Ireligible. During the first three- land could fail to be the ruin of quarters of the eighteenth century, England. Ireland lay under the weight of But the revolt of the American the severest penal laws against Colonies against commercial reCatholics, and the heaviest com- strictions of a similar nature roused mercial restriction on her indus- Ireland from sleep. The Irish felt try. When we look back upon at once that the cause of the Conthose laws, they appear altogether tinental was their own. The iniquitous. The marvel seems to Presbyterians of the north, in par
. be that Ireland remained as tran- ticular, sympathised most strongly quil and peaceable under them as with them. Irish emigrants fought she did. But Ireland was not sin- in the armies; and when the Congular in regard to either of them. tinentals received hitherto unheardIn England and Scotland there of commercial freedom, the Irish existed penal laws against Catho- began to urge very strongly their lics even more savage than those case for similar remissions. In of Ireland. It is true they were 1777 came that great British disasnot enforced ; but the furious ter, the surrender of Burgoyne at Edinburgh and Glasgow riots of Saratoga, and in the next year folJanuary 1779, and the more cele- lowed the first considerable relaxabrated Gordon riots of 1780, tion of the commercial restrictions caused by attempts to slighty re- and of the penal laws of Ireland. lax them, showed how fully they In the same year began the great had the sanction of the more igno- Volunteer movement, the first rant public opinion. Again, the symptoms and expression of indewhole theory of the British Em- pendent vigour in the country: pire was, that the commercial in- The city of Belfast was threatened terests of every part were to yield with a visit from three or four to those of Great Britain. Irish- privateers. British arms men are apt to talk as if the pro- reduced, that the only defence hibitions on wool and the other which the Lord Lieutenant found commercial restrictions on Irish himself able to offer consisted of trade were imposed out of some “a troop or two of horse, or part special hatred of Ireland ; but Ire- of a company of invalids." Under land was merely put in the same these circumstances the inhabiposition as any of the Colonies or tants took up arms to defend Dependencies. Scotland did not themselves, and from this begin. obtain commercial freedom till the ning sprang a great national moveUnion ; Ireland at the same price ment, giving Ireland a unity and obtained similar freedom.
a conscious force which carried